Two Letters Re: A Practical Tip on Using Roof Catchment Rainwater

In response to today’s post, I would like to offer an alternate method to avoid going outside in the rain to flip the value after five minutes.

Cut the down drain pipe into about 5 feet from the discharge elbow. At the elbow end install a blank over the opening. Drill a small hole in the blank, perhaps 1/8th inch diameter, and reattached the outlet ducting to a container to catch the runoff.

At the above cut in the drain pipe, install a “T” and an ell to move the water downward into a barrel.

[During each fresh rain shower,] the pipe that is blanked off should hold the initial water that would contain bird droppings and other unpleasant things before it starts to run out the “T” above into the clean water receptacle. This method gives you clean water for drinking and dirty water for the garden. Of course run your clean water through the Berkey before drinking.

I wish I could take credit for this method, but the thanks will have to go to Mel Tappan. – JH in Arkansas


I found a rainwater diverter that looks interesting. It can be turned on and off in seconds so you can let the first few minutes of rain wash the bird poop off the roof before you start collecting water. I imagine with a rain sensor and a little effort, it could be made to start diverting water automatically a few minutes after it starts raining. – Matt R.